Clashes On Eid In Kashmir, 6 Injured

Clashes On Eid In Kashmir, 6 Injured

31 August 2011
Kashmir Despatch
Umar Baigh

Srinagar: Clashes erupted in three major town of the Kashmir valley on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr- the Muslim festival marking the end of Ramadan on Wednesday. At least six people were injured during clashes, that broke out soon after Eid congregational prayers got over in the morning, in Srinagar's Old City, Islamabad town in South Kashmir and volatile town of Sopore in North Kashmir. People, most of them youth, thronged streets and raised slogans “We want freedom,” as government forces used batons to disperse them. SRINAGAR'S OLD CITY: Clashes erupted between youth and government forces soon after the Eid congregational prayers concluded in various parts of the Old City here on Wednesday. Clashes have started in SakiDafar, Nawa Kadal, Eidgah in Old City, eyewitnesses said. They said the clashes began after youth tried to march through the roads in these areas after Congregational prayers. The youth, sources said, were stopped triggering clashes. Three people, including a woman received minor injuries. A police constable was also among the injured. Locals alleged that during the protest Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF) troopers ransacked the cars and window panes of their houses. The protests lasted for about three hours. ISLAMABAD: Clashes also erupted in south Kashmir's Islamabad district, about 80 kilometers from here, after the Friday congregational prayers ended at major mosques of the town. Chanting “We want freedom,” “Islam Zindabad,” “Salam-O-Martyrs,” “Go India Go Back,” the protesters, mainly youth tried to march on the streets of the South Kashmir township. Eyewitness said, the youth tried to march 'peacefully' from the mosques, however, they were stopped by the government forces who were deployed in greater strength. The clashes were reported from Reshi Bazar, Cheeni Chowk, Lal Chowk, Kadipora, Mattan chowk and adjoining areas. A youth was reportedly injured during the clashes. SOPORE: Clashes broke out between protesting youth and government forces in north Kashmir's Sopore town, about 55 kilometers from here, soon after the Eid congregational prayers concluded at the major mosques. Eyewitnesses said, chanting “We want freedom,” people marching through the roads were confronted by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police in the Apple town. Angry youth pelted stones on the forces triggering clashes. Clashes were going on at Aarmpora, Cement Bridge, main chowk Sopore and adjoining areas. They said two youths were injured. Police also fired numerous tear gas shells and baton charged people, eyewitnesses said. Fearing the outbreak of clashes on eve of Eid, the government had already deployed forces in strength across Kashmir valley. To prevent protests, police launched a drive against bikers and seized hundreds of two-wheelers in past few days. The police claimed that the bikes were seized due to security threat posed by the youth. Pertinently hundreds of motor-cycle borne youth pelted stones on Nowhatta police station on the night of August 27. About 73 youths were arrested and 10 motorbikes seized in connection with the attack. However, a police spokesman here said that two people, including a woman and police constable were injured during clashes. He said, police exercised restrain while handling the protests.


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